I remember asking once when the 'fog' finally goes, because two years after they passed away I was still doing silly things like driving along and forgetting where I was supposed to be going and forgetting things all the time. Someone told me that takes about three years and I felt overwhelmed that I still had so long to go until I would feel half normal again.
The last year or so have definitely been a lot easier, and I had thought that getting to five years that I would feel really on top of things and in many ways I am, but I still find that any little bit of stress causes my brain to overload again and I'm back to having the 'brain fog' that I had all the time even a couple of years ago.
I think that can be one of the most frustrating things at the moment, because I was always so organised and on top of things, and now there are times when I've forgotten things, lost things, am not sure what I'm doing or just feel so overwhelmed and I can't keep thoughts clear in my head.
It's so frustrating because a lot of the time now I feel pretty good, but then as soon as things get busy the brain fog comes back, and I also have a lot of anxiety which I never used to have. It's really annoying because a lot of the time I can feel okay, but my heart palpitations are telling me otherwise.
So for me the grief hasn't gone, but it has changed. When we talk about Aaron and Noah it's usually a funny story or talking about them in a happy way.
There aren't a lot of tears anymore, but we suffer grief in other ways. For me the loneliness is the hardest thing. My work and boys keep me busy, but I miss having Aaron to talk to about anything and everything. I miss just having that closeness with him where we knew each other so well and balanced each other out so well. I miss 'us' and I have some great friends, and it's hard being the 'third wheel' but I still very much do not want another relationship and do not want to get remarried.
I hate being single because it means that Aaron isn't here, but I am also very used to being single now, and think that in a lot of ways I've become selfish because it's just myself and the boys now and I don't have to consider someone else. If I don't want to go out I don't go out. If I don't want to cook tea at a certain time I don't have to. If I want to buy something I just buy it (if I have the money), which is very different when you are married as you have to do things as a team for your relationship to work.
I think that 5 years sounds like a long time, but also such a short time. It scares me that I've only lived without Aaron for 5 years, and could still have another forty to fifty years on my own. I don't know how I'll do it because I miss Aaron more and more as time goes on, but I don't have a choice so I just have to try to do it in the best way that I can.
Other anniversaries have been hard, and we have kept very busy to get through it. Two years after we went back to where we were at when Aaron passed away. Other years we and have been away in Sydney for it, and two years ago we were with Dad while he was in palliative care. This year I knew we would be home for it, and I just knew that it had to be spent at the beach. I knew that my brother Eden and his family and also a lot of my cousins would be at Hawley Beach for the day, so I decided I wanted to go there as it would be lots of fun with them. I was so happy that Tim and Helene decided to come along as well.
The morning of Australia Day I asked Kobe if he would empty the dishwasher, while we were getting ready to go to the beach. He cracked me up as he said 'it's a public holiday Mum!'. I told him that when he asks me what was for tea, that I would remind him a public holiday. He had a little laugh about it and I then said 'what do you think we should have for tea on Dad's day anyway?'. He looked at me and said 'Dad's day!? What do you mean 'Dad's day'? I said 'Dad died on Australia Day Kobes, so it's like it's his day'. Kobe looked at me with his mouth open and said 'What!? Dad died on Australia Day!?'. He really couldn't believe it and I had no idea that he had forgotten that it happened on Australia Day.
He then decided that Dad would've liked McDonalds and I agreed (as I knew that it was true and that I wouldn't feel like cooking after getting back from the beach). He was excited to get on some Aussie gear for the day.
Even though there was a little breeze it was a beautiful day at the beach. It was lovely to catch up with everyone and other friends who we ran into there. There was lots of cricket, swimming (even though the water was freezing!), walking to the island once the tide was out, chatting and (trying to) paddle board.
My nieces Chloe and Kelsea look sweet and innocent, but the little rats were finding crabs over at the island and putting them down my top! I think it made their day :)
I loved catching up with my cousin Carli who was down from Sydney and she invited us to go along to Ulverstone to the waterslide which she had hired out for an hour. It was so nice to have so much fun on what can be a hard day.
The lifeguards were pretty easy going (probably because we were a private group) and let us go down side by side. The guys loved doing it and would even go backwards while going side by side. My cousin Toni took this awesome photo of Harri going down side by side with her husband Jaron.
And this one of me and Kobe.
When we were at the beach my sister in law Steph jokingly asked Kobe if he was going to have lamb for tea for Australia Day. Apparently he then said something like 'don't you know my Dad died on Australia Day!? We are going to Maccas!'. Oh he makes me laugh. After the waterslide everyone got takeaway and had a play and tea in the park.
Before getting home we quickly raced Aaron's grave before the sun went down to have a Pepsi there for him.
My lovely friend Simone was so thoughtful and gave us a Hawthorn pillow (which Kobe has since claimed!) and a card which made me laugh as it had a Kangaroo on it for Australia Day and everyone knows how un-Australian he was (when it came to barracking for sporting teams) and he would've thought it was really funny.